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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Apr;1801(4):480-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.12.008. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

Phosphatidylethanolamine synthesized by four different pathways is supplied to the plasma membrane of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology, Petersgasse 12/2, A-8010 Graz, Austria.


In this study, we examined the contribution of the four different pathways of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) synthesis in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the supply of this phospholipid to the plasma membrane. These pathways of PE formation are decarboxylation of phosphatidylserine (PS) by (i) phosphatidylserine decarboxylase 1 (Psd1p) in mitochondria and (ii) phosphatidylserine decarboxylase 2 (Psd2p) in a Golgi/vacuolar compartment, (iii) incorporation of exogenous ethanolamine and ethanolamine phosphate derived from sphingolipid catabolism via the CDP-ethanolamine pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and (iv) synthesis of PE through acylation of lyso-PE catalyzed by the acyl-CoA-dependent acyltransferase Ale1p in the mitochondria associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM). Deletion of PSD1 and/or PSD2 led to depletion of total cellular and plasma membrane PE level, whereas mutation in the other pathways had practically no effect. Analysis of wild type and mutants, however, revealed that all four routes of PE synthesis contributed not only to PE formation but also to the supply of PE to the plasma membrane. Pulse-chase labeling experiments with L[(3)H(G)]serine and [(14)C]ethanolamine confirmed the latter finding. Fatty acid profiling demonstrated a rather balanced incorporation of PE species into the plasma membrane irrespective of mutations suggesting that all four pathways of PE synthesis provide at least a basic portion of "correct" PE species required for plasma membrane biogenesis. In summary, the PE level in the plasma membrane is strongly influenced by total cellular PE synthesis, but fine tuned by selective assembly mechanisms.

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